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Question - Beloved Master What is "Coincidence"?

Osho - Anand Viramo, there are three things to be understood. One is the law of cause and effect. That applies to the material world and because science believes only in the law of cause and effect, it denies everything else. The law of cause and effect is mechanical, there is no coincidence. You heat the water to one hundred degrees and it evaporates, there is no coincidence. It is not that one day it evaporates at ninety-nine degrees, another day at ninety degrees. There is no question of the mood, the water cannot decide, the water is mechanically ruled by a law of cause and effect. Those who believe in the law of cause and effect, they will not believe in any coincidence. Everything is predetermined, there is nothing like coincidence. Everything has an inevitability.

Then there is another law -- Carl Gustav Jung called it the law of synchronicity. Two things can happen together although they are not related as cause and effect. For example if somebody is singing a beautiful song, some cord in your heart is touched, but it is not inevitable, it is not cause and effect -- it may happen, it may not happen; it may happen to a few people, it may not happen to a few others. It may happen to you one day, it may not happen to you another day.

Today you are feeling happy, you have met your woman, your friend, you are riding on the winds. Somebody is singing a song, suddenly it strikes a note in you, you also feel like singing. Somebody is dancing, your feet suddenly have the feel to dance, the mood to dance.

But your wife has died, you are sad and somebody is singing and it hurts. The moon has risen in the sky, a full-moon night, and you are sad -- the moon also looks sad, not beautiful. You are in such a sad state that the full-moon night looks like it is ridiculing you; it looks so indifferent to you, so unconcerned, so hard. You are in such a sad state and the moon is still shining the same way it used to, and the roses are blooming and the birds are singing. Nobody seems to be concerned about you, nobody seems to care about you. The universe seems to be very neutral, very cold. You feel hurt, you feel alienated, you feel a stranger, an outsider. Now there will be no synchronicity.

Osho on Coincidence

The law of synchronicity means sometimes you fit and sometimes you don't fit. It is fluid. The law of synchronicity belongs to the world of mind; just as cause and effect belong to the world of matter, body, the law of synchronicity belongs to the world of mind, heart. Beyond these two there is a possibility of coincidence too. That means no law pertains, or you can call it the law of freedom. That is the ultimate, the law of your innermost core, in fact it is not a law because it is a law of freedom. Things can happen which are not caused by anything and which are not created by the law of synchronicity, just coincidences.

Coincidence simply means that there is a possibility of freedom. Now there are people here of all the three kinds. There are people here who have come according to the law of cause and effect; they had to come, it was inevitable, unavoidable. There was something pulling them like a magnet, they could not resist it.

There are people here who have come not through the law of cause and effect, but they felt a synchronicity, a harmony with me, a deep accord. If they wanted to resist they could have resisted very easily, if they wanted not to come they could have remained. There was not some gravitational pull, they had to choose. It is out of their choice that they are here.

And there is also the third category of people who have just come as a coincidence, accidental. A friend was here, and you had come to see your friend, not to see me, not to listen to me, not at all concerned about me; you had come just to see your friend -- but then you got caught. The friend may not be here anymore, the friend may have escaped. Now this is coincidence.

Your husband was coming here, and you simply followed him just as a dutiful wife. Now there are many children, many kids who are coincidentally here. Their parents are here, so they are here; their being here is not their choice, just a coincidence. Their parents are Christian, they are Christian; their parents are Hindu, so they are Hindu; their parents have become sannyasins, they have become sannyasins. This is just coincidence. All these three things happen. The higher you rise, the higher your consciousness is, the more aware you become of freedom. At the lowest point everything is determined, at the highest point nothing is determined.

Buddha renounced his palace and the first day, when he was walking on the bank of a river, he created much confusion in the mind of a great astrologer. The astrologer was coming from Varanasi; he had achieved the highest degrees possible in those days. He had become the most famous astrologer; now he is going back to his part of the country. He saw Buddha's footprint on the wet sand; he could not believe his eyes, because it was against all his astrological knowledge. The feet of the Buddha had a few marks which were clearly there on the sand. Those marks were thought to belong only to a man who is the ruler of the whole world, a CHAKRAVARTIN, who is the ruler of six continents.

Now what is the ruler of six continents doing in this poor village, on this dirty bank? And why should the emperor of all the six continents walk barefooted? He could not believe his eyes. He studied them very minutely and there was no suspicion, no doubt. Either his astrological books are not right or some emperor has passed from here. He followed those footprints in search of the man and he found Buddha sitting under a tree. Now he was more puzzled; the man looked as if he was the emperor of all the six continents, and yet he was a beggar with a begging bowl.

He bowed down to Buddha and he said, "I would like to see your feet. I am an astrologer, you may have heard my name." He looked at the feet and he said, "Now you have created such confusion in my mind, I have never been so confused. For twelve years I have studied astrology, should I throw my scriptures in the river and forget all about it? You should be the emperor of the whole world. What are you doing here? How can you be a beggar?"

Buddha laughed and he said, "Yes, there is no need to throw away your books, there is no need to be so confused. Your books are right. I was meant to be a great king, but that belongs to the law of cause and effect. If I had simply followed the pattern in which I was born, then I would have been the king, a great king, a chakravartin. But because I renounced, I took a conscious, deliberate step against the pattern that was imposed, imprinted in my being. I revolted against it, I rebelled against it, I became free of it. I became a witness of it, I dropped my identification with my mind, and once you drop your identification with your mind you are no longer under the law of cause and effect."

First you enter into the world of synchronicity and then, ultimately, you enter into the world of freedom. In the world of freedom there are only coincidences. Nothing is absolutely certain, everything is possible. Nothing is impossible. Napoleon is reported to have said: Nothing is impossible. But Napoleon cannot say that, he should not say it. A Buddha can say: Nothing is impossible, all things become possible.

You ask me, Anand Viramo, "What is 'coincidence'?"
It simply means that life is not just mechanical. It is not determined by fate and it is not determined by history. It is not determined by your past or by your past karmas. It is not determined, as Karl Marx says, by historical necessity. It is determined only for those who live unconsciously; otherwise it is freedom. You can choose and you can choose to be anything. You can even choose to be a nothingness, that is the ultimate freedom. And coincidences are always happening in ordinary life too. Life is not as logical as you think, it is very illogical. Only the surface looks logical.

The preacher decided to enumerate the Ten Commandments to his flock.
When he got to "Thou Shalt Not Steal," he noticed a fellow in the first row acting nervously. When the preacher got to "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," he noticed the fellow brighten up and smile. After the service, the preacher approached the man and asked him the reason for his unseemly conduct -- to which the happy one replied, "When you said, 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' I discovered my umbrella was gone. But when you said, 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' I remembered where I had left it."

A bachelor named Clem showed up at his weekly poker game with a black eye.
His friend Joe asked what had happened to him.
"Well," Clem replied, "when I was getting dressed this morning a button came off my pants. I don't know how to sew a thing, so I went to the next apartment and asked the woman there if she would sew it on for me."
"Oh boy," Joe said, "she probably thought you were making a pass and socked you, huh?"
"No, that was not it," said Clem. "She was as nice about it as she could be. Got out a needle and thread right then and there. She sat down in front of me and sewed the button on while I was standing there. But just as she finished and was biting the thread off, her husband walked in."

Life is not just logic. It does not follow a clean-cut path, it goes zigzag. And it is good that it is not simply logical, otherwise there would be no joy, there would be no surprise, you would be simply machines, not men. Coincidences never happen to machines, they can't happen to machines, they can happen only to man. It is your being conscious that makes them possible. Remove man from the earth and all coincidences will disappear, things will be following simple, logical law. But remove man and life loses all its beauty, because life loses its ultimate peak of evolution.

Source - Osho Book "The Dhammapada, Vol 4"

Related Osho Discourses:
Osho - Why am I forcing situations according to my Will
Osho on Destiny and Free Will, Are Our Lives Predestined or Not?

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